Shizuoka: Rice paddy art depicting work by local famous novelist revitalizes community

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Rice paddy art depicting Mt. Fuji and the main character of Shirobamba is seen in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

IZU, Shizuoka — A rice paddy art exhibit in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, is currently in its prime viewing season for visitors. The art display, prepared every summer, is now in its fourth year.

The display was started with the aim of revitalizing the local community. This year, paper cutting artist Chiharu Mizuguchi, a resident of Izu, designed the exhibit based on the autobiographical novel “Shirobamba” by local writer Yasushi Inoue.

In May, about 40 people including local assembly members and elementary school students planted seven colors of rice by hand, including “Beni-Asobi” red ornamental rice and “Midori-Daikoku” green ancient rice. The art depicts Mount Fuji as well as the main character and other boys featured in Shirobamba. A 4-meter-high viewing platform was set up along the rice paddies for visitors to enjoy the world of Shirobamba.